It is important that a business have a separate bank account even if the company is a small operation with a single owner. The account keeps business revenues separate from the owner's money. The monthly statements and cancelled checks are like a free accounting service, at least during the first year when there are only a limited amount of financial transactions.
The new business owner should deposit enough money in the account at the very beginning to cover anticipated early expenses like business cards, stationery, website design, product prototypes, and rent. This can be in the form of a capital contribution which cannot be paid back to the owner without paying income taxes on the payment or a loan which the owner can recover without paying taxes on it. The IRS has rules about what is a capital contribution and what is a loan. The owner should seek professional advice on this question.
Many businesses fail because the owner is unwilling or unable to invest enough money in the company. Banks are happy to have small business customers. Check to see if your bank has a minimum balance requirement or a charge for each check written.
Since 9/11, banks have been requiring considerable paperwork before opening an account. This includes personal ID for the owner and copies of all organizational documents if the customer is a corporation, LLC or partnership. The bank will also ask for the company's Employer Identification Number (EIN).
The account is opened by making a deposit and signing a bank resolution. This is the official document in which the company agrees to comply with banking requirements and which identifies the individual officers or employees who are authorized to sign checks.